News | February 03, 2015

Spanish Researchers Design Information Security Protocol for Wireless Pacemakers

Protocol would protect the information provided by medical devices connected to the Internet

University of the Basque Country, ICDs, pacemakers, Internet, security, remote

February 3, 2015 — In modern western societies the fitting of pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) is growing rapidly. Devices of this type control heart rhythm and, if necessary, send an appropriate response to make the heart beat at the right rhythm. They also record heart activity patterns when abnormal heart rhythm is detected. This information is periodically checked and monitored by a doctor to plan future treatment. To do this, the information is transmitted in wireless mode to an external device. At the moment this communication is carried out in hospitals. A researcher in the University of the Basque Country’s (UPV/EHU) Department of Communications Engineering has developed the Ladon security protocol, an efficient mechanism to authenticate, authorize and establish the end-to-end keys (keys for communication between the terminal used by the doctor and the patient's device) for ICDs.

The main manufacturers of pacemakers and ICDs have started to market remote management devices. The remote monitoring of implantable, wireless medical sensors is a constantly advancing field which nevertheless still has clear shortcomings. The direct connection of medical sensors to the Internet is the next natural step in this evolution, and will enable doctors to obtain the information stored by the sensors at any moment and from any device connected to the Internet. Despite its great potential, the success of a monitoring system of this type is determined, among other things, by the protection of the privacy of the information transmitted.

There are three key parameters in the development of new solutions for implantable medical sensors: energy consumption, memory space and latency. Energy efficiency is the most important design parameter for any protocol that has to work in these devices, since replacing the batteries used in them means opening up a wound in the patient's chest. As UPV/EHU researcher Jasone Astorga explained, it has been found that "the energy consumption of this Ladon protocol is negligible in comparison with the usual consumption of a pacemaker or ICD when applying its therapy (stimulating or defibrillating), and has no significant impact on how long the batteries last". On the other hand, they have found that the deployment of this security application in the sensors has led to very little memory consumption. And finally, the latency incorporated by the protocol in the setting up of a secure communication is also less. All this turns it into a protocol suited to deploying functionalities to authenticate and control access in the sensors and for the setting up of a secret key that can be used to protect the confidentiality and integrity of the medical information transmitted over the wireless network.

For more information: www.ehu.eus

Related Content

Fysicon Receives FDA Approval for QMAPP Hemodynamic Monitoring System
Technology | Hemodynamic Monitoring Systems| September 18, 2017
Fysicon announced that it has been granted 510(k) clearance by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its...
Technavio Projects 9 Percent Global Growth for Electrophysiology Therapeutic Devices

Image courtesy of Technavio

News | EP Lab| September 11, 2017
September 11, 2017 — According to the latest market study released by Technavio, the global...
EMANATE Trial Shows Apixaban Lowers stroke in AF Patients Undergoing Cardioversion.
News | Atrial Fibrillation| September 01, 2017
September 1, 2017 — Apixaban lowers the risk of stroke compared to warfarin in anticoagulation-naïve patients with at
CASTLE-AF Study shows Catheter Ablation of Atrial Fibrillation is First-Line Treatment for Heart Failure Patients. Biotronic Ilivia 7 ICD.

The CASTLE-AF Study shows catheter alation of AF can be used effectively to treat heart failure in patients with an implanted ICD.

News | Atrial Fibrillation| September 01, 2017
September 1, 2017 — Final results from the CASTLE-AF study show a 38 percent reduction in the composite of all-cause
Abbott. St. Jude Medical has updated its firmware to address cybersecurity issues with its Allure Quadra MP and other EP devices

Abbott. St. Jude Medical has updated its firmware to address cybersecurity issues with its Allure Quadra MP and other EP devices.

Feature | EP Lab| August 29, 2017 | Dave Fornell
August 29, 2017 — The U.S.
Biotronik Announces U.S. Launch of Edora HF-T QP CRT Pacemaker
Technology | Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy Devices (CRT)| August 21, 2017
Biotronik announced U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval and commercial availability of Edora HF-T QP, an...
The FDA is concerned about cybersecurity of ICDs and cyber security of other medical devices.
Feature | Cybersecurity| August 16, 2017 | Dave Fornell
There is growing concern among patients and regulators that medical devices, especially implantable electrophysiology
Three New Atrial Fibrillation Studies to Feature HeartLight Endoscopic Ablation System
News | Ablation Systems| August 07, 2017
CardioFocus Inc. announced that its HeartLight Endoscopic Ablation System is being featured in three new major clinical...
Merge Hemo cath lab hemodynamics monitoring system.

Hemodynamic data shown on screens from the Merge Hemo recording system. It is among the newer generation hemodynamic systems for cath labs that are more user friendly and have technologies to speed workflow.

Feature | Hemodynamic Monitoring Systems| August 03, 2017 | Dave Fornell
The current generation of...
Overlay Init